Fantasy head to head: Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the UEFA Champions League's two biggest beasts, but who should you pick?

Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo; who will you pick?
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo; who will you pick? ©Getty Images

As is always the case, Cristiano Ronaldo (€11.5m) and Lionel Messi (€11.5m) are the first names on many #UCLfantasy teamsheets, and if you decide not to break the bank to try and fit them both into your matchday one squad, which of the two scoring machines should you opt for?


That's not an easy question to answer. Last season, it was Messi who was the more valuable asset in #UCLfantasy, scoring 12 times for a Barcelona side that reached the semi-finals. The dozen goals scored by the Argentinian – one every 70 minutes on average – meant he finished the campaign as the top scorer, with his Portuguese rival managing half that amount as he ended on six strikes, his lowest total since 2008/09.

It was an entirely different story two seasons ago, Ronaldo amassing 15 goals as he led Real Madrid to a third successive UEFA Champions League title. By contrast, Messi was some way behind on six goals as he endured a relatively poor campaign by his own lofty standards.

Combing the two seasons creates a very even picture. Ronaldo has the slight edge on the face of it as he leads his great rival in both goals scored (21–18) and assists (5–4). However, a deeper look at the stats reveals Messi's total came from two fewer appearances which actually gives him a marginally superior points per appearance figure (6.10–6.05).

So, who should you choose for your opening #UCLfantasy squad? There are of course compelling reasons to include either player, or even both, but with the fixture list granting Juventus two home games in the first three matchdays compared to Barcelona's two away trips, Ronaldo is looking like the slightly more favourable option to start the season.